Sharing my October newsletter


Last day of summer
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Newsletter #50                                      October 22, 2017Bonjour Patricia

Autumn is setting in all around us in Toronto. What’s happening in your neighbourhood? To those of you who are living near the terrible fires or in the midst of the lingering effects of all the other recent disasters, we send our hopes that you are safe. For others who would like information on how we can help out, click right here.

We’ve had quite a few days when the weather fooled us into thinking summer is lingering. But the changing colours of the leaves and piles of pumpkins outside shops send an undeniable message.

To my Canadian friends, belated Thanksgiving wishes. This was the first time in 40 years that I had not spent Thanksgiving weekend with my family. Instead I was in Florida at the Novelists, Inc. writers conference. Even though I missed our traditional turkey dinner, I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in learning and networking in the world of writing and publishing for a few days.

Many of my favourite writing friends were there too. It’s one thing to work together online, but it’s so good having time to share ideas and plan future projects in person.  There might have been wine and a few delicious meals involved too.

In this photo, you see (from left to right) Heather Burch, Bette Lee Crosby, Christine Nolfi, Judith Keim, Ashley Farley, and me. Please permit me a moment to gush ~ not only are they talented writers, but also great fun and absolutely first-class women. As many of you know, we are part of the Women’s Fiction Fans book lovers group. Have you joined us on Facebook? Our next book event is November 7th and, as always, there will be lots of great book chat and oodles of book giveaways. Click right here to get all the latest news!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month around the world and my friend, author Liza Perrat, has shared her personal story on my blog. She is also offering a giveaway of two of her Bone Angel box sets. Pop over, by clicking here, and leave a comment to enter. More importantly, read Liza’s touching post and the following comments. I hope you will take a moment to add yours.

This month it’s time to give away the French market gift box that I put together last summer for one of you. All those memories of good times browsing markets in France is causing me a bit of melancholy. I think I’ll just have to spend a day immersed in my copy of The Good Life France’s autumn ezine. That always helps! Have you read yours yet?

Here’s a photo of the contents of the gift box. To have your name entered for the giveaway, send a message to (as usual) and tell us which character you found the most interesting in Drawing Lessons (apart from Arianna and Jacques). Bonne chance!

As you can see, there’s a tea towel, a small serving tray, Provence-themed napkins, Maxim’s chocolate, fleur de sel, herbes de Provence, a lavender sachet, French soap, a Van Gogh 2018 calendar and a signed copy of Drawing Lessons.

Here’s one more market scene, just so we can all dream. This was taken in the Wednesday market in St. Remy-de-Provence. It’s one of my favourites, spreading all through the narrow streets and filling the squares of this charming town. When we do a women’s tour, we always plan a lengthy visit on that day. Everyone loves it!

While I’m talking about giveaways, I want to congratulate all the winners from the September draws:  Clare O’Beara, Marti Wilson, Karina LaMonica, Sharon berger, Lynn Jarrett, Audrey Wick and Cynthia St. Germain.

Amy, my indispensable right hand, is always on top of things so I’m certain you have all heard from her by now. If not, please let us know.

Here are the tempting prizes for this month. Good luck everyone!

From Amulya Malladi, there’s one print copy of her newly published seventh novel,  The Copenhagen Affair. Here’s a blurb about it: Set in the capital city of the world’s happiest country, a comedy of manners about depression, the pressures of marriage, and the possibility of falling in love again.

Amulya is also generously offering one ebook for each of these titles: The Mango Season; A Breath of Fresh Air; and The Sound of Language.  Find out more about all of these titles on her author page.

So, to be clear, that’s four giveaways. Each is separate. It’s a book bonanza! Thanks, Amulya!

Amulya is a fellow Lake Union author and this is her seventh novel. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism. When she’s not writing, she works as a marketing executive. After several years in Copenhagen, she now lives outside Los Angeles with her husband and two children. You can connect with her here.

You can find Amulya hosting our #LakeUnionAuthors Facebook page this week. If you haven’t joined our reader group, please consider it. There’s lively conversation between readers and writers and all sort of book news … including giveaways! We let you know what books of ours are on special, often before you see that news anywhere else. Click right here to check it out.

Keith Van Sickle is a technology industry veteran and lifelong traveler who got his first taste of overseas life while studying in England during college. But it was the expat assignment to Switzerland that made him really fall in love with Europe. With his wife Val and their trusty dog, he now splits his time between Silicon Valley and Provence, delving ever deeper into what makes France so endlessly fascinating.

He is offering one print copy and one ebook of his vignette-filled memoir, One Sip At A Time: Learning To Live in Provence.

Here’s what one reviewer had to say: “In ‘One Sip at a Time,’ Keith Van Sickle shares more than 60 vignettes of his time in Provence – where the bread is astonishingly good, the plumbing is hopeless, and a visit to the emergency room costs $30. It’s a quick, easy read that will pick up your spirits. It’s also a quietly subtle collection of parables that will leave you thinking about the human condition in a new way.”

As always, to have your name entered for the random draw for each giveaway, send an email to . This month, please let us know which holiday you prefer. Is it Thanksgiving or Christmas? Good luck with the draws! Bonne chance!

With the giveaways in my newsletter, I hope you enjoy meeting authors who might be new to you and connecting with those you already follow. Savour their books, find out more about the writers and pass along their information to your friends. The best way to hear about a good book is by word of mouth from dedicated readers like you.

If you have time to write a short review on Amazon and Goodreads, even better, and always appreciated. Trust me … I didn’t realize this until I became a novelist. Before that I had never written a review. Now, it’s the first thing I do when I finish reading a story.

While I’m at it, I want to send you to visit my very special (and talented and über-informed) friend Julie Mautner’s excellent Provence Post website. You’ve heard me talk about it before … many times. She’s hosting a giveaway of two signed print copies of Drawing Lessons and two ebooks ~ click right here. I’m more than a little humbled by her post … but also immensely grateful, and happy to offer international prizes.

NEWS FLASH: If you are an Amazon Prime member, The Promise of Provence is one of many good novels available in that program at the moment.

For the third year, we are putting together a calendar featuring some of my photography of the south of France and quotes from my novels. Each year the photos are completely different. We only produce a limited number and they sell out quickly … thank you! If you would like to order one, please send $30.00 (U.S.) to PayPal, payable to  This will also cover postage, which is ridiculously expensive. Don’t forget to add your postal address.

If you don’t use PayPal and would like to pay another way, please email and let us know. Amy will be coordinating the details and we will see what we can work out.

Here’s the format, so you can see what it looks like.

With autumn in the air, there are pleasing displays of pumpkins and gourds around. I can’t resist taking photos of them.

Potage au potiron, pumpkin soup, is a popular starter on the Provençal table when there’s a chill in the air. I like the recipe I’ve included here because the article also adds other interesting details. Click right here to see it.

(A little addendum: I add one medium-sized potato to the ingredients and I use light chicken stock instead of salted water. Keeping some shredded Gruyère or Comté cheese in a bowl for garnish is another option. But that’s just moi!)

By the way, thanks to all of you who send photos and let me know you actually try the recipes. That makes it even more fun when I am deciding which one to share with you.

Stay well, my friends, be kind to one another, read a lot and appreciate every single day. Profitez de tous les jours! I’m reminded on a regular basis that the best part of being an author is hearing from readers. I value the messages I receive from you. Thanks also for sharing my books with your friends and for the reviews you write. It’s all most appreciated and inspiring. See you next month!

À bientôt!

P.S. MERCI BEAUCOUP! I want to send a big thank you to everyone who purchased my new novel, Drawing Lessons, and helped to make the October 1st launch day such a success. After all the time spent researching and writing, editing, and preparing for publication, there’s always a level of anxiety mixed with pleasure as authors hope to deliver a satisfying story to book lovers. I’m grateful to you all!

There’s just one problem! I miss all of those characters. This is an issue for fiction writers when we complete a story. Since we’ve spent so much time with the personalities we’ve created, they take on a life of their own and feel real to us. I better get involved in writing the next story … tout de suite!

If you’ve read Drawing Lessons and can find a minute to leave a short review on Amazon and Goodreads. I thank you in advance.

AmazonUS | AmazonCA |  AmazonFR  |  B&N  |  iTunes

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About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. Great newsletter, Patricia. Love the fall pictures. Wishing you loads of success with your latest novel.

    • Patricia Sands says:

      Thanks, Anneli! As you know, it’s always a relief to finally launch a novel after all the months/years of research, writing, editing, etc. And then it’s on to the next! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving in your beautiful corner of the world.

  2. Love your newsletters. 🙂

I love hearing from you ~ thanks for stopping by


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